Sticks and stones and words that harm: Liability vs. responsibility, section 230 and defamatory speech in cyberspace [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethics and Information Technology 4 (2):143-158 (2002)
This article explores recent developments inthe regulation of Internet speech, inparticular, injurious or defamatory speech andthe impact the attempts at regulation arehaving on the `body' in the sense of theindividual person who speaks through the mediumof the Internet and upon those harmed by thatspeech. The article proceeds in threesections. First, a brief history of the legalattempts to regulate defamatory Internet speechin the United States is presented; a shortcomparative discussion of defamation law in theUK and Australia is included. As discussedbelow, this regulation has altered thetraditional legal paradigm of responsibilityand, as a result, creates potential problems forthe future of unrestricted and even anonymousspeech on the Internet. Second, an ethicalassessment is made of the defamatory speechenvironment in order to determine which actorshave moral responsibility for the harm causedby defamatory speech. This moral assessment iscompared to the developing and anticipatedlegal paradigm to identify possible conformityof moral and legal tenants or to recognize theconflict between morality and law in assigningresponsibility to defamatory actors. Thisassessment then concludes with possiblesuggestions for changes in the legal climategoverning the regulation of defamatory speechon the Internet, as well as prediction of theresult should the legal climate continue todevelop on its present course. This is not tosuggest that all law, or even the law ofdefamation, be structured to reflect thesubjectivity of a moral construct, but since itis the authors position that the legalassignment of liability in online settings ismisaligned, this reflection can serve asbeginning reassessment of that assignment.
|Keywords||defamation internet service providers internet speech libel moral responsibility|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Bernd Carsten Stahl (2006). Responsible Computers? A Case for Ascribing Quasi-Responsibility to Computers Independent of Personhood or Agency. Ethics and Information Technology 8 (4):205-213.
Similar books and articles
Theodore M. Benditt (1982). Liability for Failing to Rescue. Law and Philosophy 1 (3):391 - 418.
John Weckert (2000). What is so Bad About Internet Content Regulation? Ethics and Information Technology 2 (2):105-111.
R. G. Frey & Christopher W. Morris (eds.) (1991). Liability and Responsibility: Essays in Law and Morals. Cambridge University Press.
Anton Vedder (2001). Accountability of Internet Access and Service Providers – Strict Liability Entering Ethics? Ethics and Information Technology 3 (1):67-74.
Herman T. Tavani & Frances S. Grodzinsky (2002). Cyberstalking, Personal Privacy, and Moral Responsibility. Ethics and Information Technology 4 (2):123-132.
B. Frydman, L. Hennebel & Gregory Lewkowicz, Public Strategies for Internet Co-Regulation in the United States, Europe and China.
Douglas N. Husak (1985). What is so Special About [Free] Speech? Law and Philosophy 4 (1):1 - 15.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads11 ( #212,738 of 1,724,746 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #210,951 of 1,724,746 )
How can I increase my downloads?